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Nothing says comfort food more than a warm bowl of chicken soup. Being primarily of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, I sometimes cook a fusion between my two cultures, and this version of chicken noodle soup is no different. I use achiote oil and Puerto Rican sofrito for my base but finish with fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime; both final touches are optional.
Sopa de Pollo con Fideos (Latin American Chicken Soup With Noodles)
- 5 Qt Dutch Oven (or Stockpot)
- 2 Dinner Plate
For The Chicken:
For The Sopa (Soup):
- 1 tbsp achiote oil Can be substituted with extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Puerto Rican sofrito
- ½ cup celery sliced Approximately 2 stalks with the leaves removed
- ½ cup carrots cut into coins Approximately 2, peeled with ends removed
- ¾ cup Spanish onion diced Approximately ½ an onion. Can be substituted with white or sweet onions.
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- ¾ tsp salt If using salted stock, taste before adding any additional salt and then salt to taste.
- ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ cup cilantro chopped Set ¼ cup aside to use as garnish.
- ½ lb fideos Can be substituted with vermicelli, capellini, or angel hair.
- 1 lime quartered
- Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano; sprinkling both sides evenly. Marinate and cover for at least an hour before cooking. For best results, season the day before and let marinate for up to 24 hours.
- If the chicken marinated overnight, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking and let it get to room temperature.
- In a Dutch oven or stockpot, add in the achiote or olive oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil starts to glisten or the heat reaches 375 degrees, use tongs to place the chicken breasts in the Dutch oven or stockpot, skin-side down to sear until golden brown. About 8-10 minutes.
- Once the chicken breasts have seared to a golden brown, remove them with tongs and place them on a plate or platter.
- Add the celery, carrots, onions, garlic, sofrito, and bay leaf into the pot. With a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot and cook down until slightly tender. About 5-7 minutes.
- Add the chicken breasts back into the pot, this time skin-side up and cover with 8 cups of stock.
- Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- When the soup is boiling, cover with the lid and lower the temperature to medium-low to low. The temperature will depend on your stove, you want the soup to be slightly simmering.
- Cook on medium-low to low temperature for 2-4 hours. The longer, the better. The chicken should be "fall off the bone" tender.
- Using tongs, remove the chicken breasts from the pot and place them onto a plate or platter. Remove the skin and bones with a fork and knife and return only the breast meat to the pot.
- Add ¼ cup chopped cilantro and bring the soup back up to a rolling boil.
- Add in the fideos. You can substitute with any fine egg pasta such as vermicelli, capellini, or angel hair.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes until al dente.*Pictured is homemade capellini.*
- Serve soup using a soup ladle and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and an optional squeeze of lime.
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